The Disaster Risk Reduction Agenda

By Daniel Salmon 

The Fourth Session of the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) took place between the 21st and 23rd of May 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland. Recognising the GPDRR as the world's foremost gathering of stakeholders committed to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) IOM participated in the platform highlighting its global Disaster Risk Reduction and migration strategy.

In line with Platform's objectives of information exchange and knowledge and partnership building, IOM underlined how human mobility plays a dual role in determining vulnerability and resilience to disasters. IOM brought to floor the specific protection needs of internal and international migrants caught in disasters, highlighting the importance of preventing forced migration and providing adequate assistance and protection for affected people. 

In line with the findings from the 2013 Global Assessment Report (GAR), - launched at the GPDRR - the challenges caused by rural-urban migration and urban population growth were raised as important drivers of disaster risk. The 2013 GAR provides a comprehensive analysis of how hazards are affecting humanity and how all stakeholders, and especially the private sector need to strengthen partnerships for a safer future ( In line with the reflection of IOM, and other stakeholders work in regards to human mobility and DRR, the GAR acknowledges the importance of avoiding situations of displacement whilst promoting the human mobility as an effective practice to reducing the impacts of hazards.

Building on the international momentum towards to Post-Hyogo Framework on DRR, the UN Plan of Action on Disasters Risk Reduction for Resilience was shared, highlighting the action points negotiated by UN partners to accelerate work needed for the remaining term of the Hyogo Framework and set the base to scale-up efforts towards the Post-Hyogo Framework. IOM was fully associated to this initiative and human mobility related language is included in the UN Plan of Action.

IOM deems it essential to further articulate the correlation between risk and mobility, in terms of both associated costs and opportunities. It strongly encourages States and partners to consider human mobility in risk-reduction policies, both as a way to tackle risk factors and as a strategy to build the resilience in the preservation of life and livelihoods.

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